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Open-source extreme conditions modeling tools

March 9th, 2016|Categories: Energy, Modeling & Analysis, News, Renewable Energy, Water Power|Tags: |

The extreme conditions modeling project (ECM) will be releasing two numerical tools for use in modeling extreme conditions of wave energy converters (WECs). Sandia and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed the WEC Design Response Toolbox, a collection of algorithms that address components of the design response analysis process. The available methods fall into five categories: (1) environmental characterization, (2) short-term extreme response, (3) long-term extreme response, (4) fatigue, and (5) design wave composition. This toolbox [...]

New report highlights key composite testing trends for more reliable and lower cost wind blade designs

March 9th, 2016|Categories: News, Partnership, Publications, Renewable Energy, Research & Capabilities, Wind Energy, Wind News|Tags: |

Sandia National Laboratories recently published "Analysis of SNL/MSU/DOE Fatigue Database Trends for Wind Turbine Blade Materials, 2010-2015" by researchers at Montana State University (MSU), a long-time academic research partner. Since 1989, Sandia has collaborated with MSU to test and report key data and trends related to fiber-reinforced polymers (composites) and other materials used to construct wind turbine blades. As of 2015, MSU researchers have compiled a public database of the results of over 16,000 tests on 500 [...]

National Rotor Testbed aerodynamic design complete

March 9th, 2016|Categories: Modeling & Analysis, News, Renewable Energy, SWIFT, Wind Energy, Wind News|Tags: |

The aerodynamic design of the National Rotor Testbed (NRT) blade has been completed (see example, above). The goal of the NRT rotor is to replicate the wake characteristics of a utility-scale rotor at the Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) test site. This will allow researchers at Sandia and other labs to collect high-fidelity wake measurements and validate and calibrate wind turbine and wind farm computer models. Additionally, the NRT rotor blades will be used to demonstrate that blades can be manufactured [...]

Marine and Hydrokinetic (MHK) Executive Summit

March 1st, 2016|Categories: News, News & Events, Water Power, Workshops|

The Wind and Water Power Technologies Office (WWPTO), within the US Department of Energy (DOE) will host an executive summit on marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) research and development on March 2, 2016 in Washington DC. Through this initiative, the WWPTO, together with executive members from DOE, the national laboratories, and the MHK energy industry, will showcase DOE’s water power energy investments in the national laboratories and identify activities ripe for technology transfer. WWPTO has selected [...]

Sandia to participate in upcoming DOE Grid Modernization Regional Workshops

February 29th, 2016|Categories: Grid Integration, Microgrid, News, News & Events, SMART Grid, Workshops|

As part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Grid Modernization Initiative, the Department is convening industry stakeholders across the U.S. in a series of regional workshops. These workshops will seek feedback on the Department's grid-related research and demonstration strategy, and provide opportunities for stakeholders to inform the Department on the grid-related technical challenges and emerging policy issues you see confronting your region and the nation as a whole. The workshops will take place from [...]

2016 ARPA-e Energy Innovation Summit

February 26th, 2016|Categories: Events, Highlights - Energy Research, News, News & Events, Office of Science, Seminars & Conferences|

Meet our Scientists! Stop by the main Sandia Labs Booth #505 for an opportunity to interact with SNL scientists including: Eric Langlois, R&D, Electronics Engineer, MEMS Technology Department Jeff Nelson, Senior Manager, Semiconductor and Optical Sciences Department Erik Spoerke, R&D, Material Science, Electronic, Optical & Nano Materials Department Sandia Labs Featured in the Technology Showcase Sandia Lab / Booth #505 Through the Secure and Sustainable Energy Future Mission Area, Sandia National Laboratories seeks to support the creation of [...]

$20 Million Technology Commercialization Fund Laboratory Call for Proposals

February 25th, 2016|Categories: News, News & Events, Partnership|

Accelerating Clean Energy Technology Solutions The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) announced its first call for proposals to tap the $20 million Technology Commercialization Fund, which uses federal dollars to match private-sector dollars for the best ideas from the National Labs to bring cutting-edge energy technologies to market. The National Labs have historically laid the scientific foundation for many core technologies in the marketplace today. As a competitive program, the Technology Commercialization Fund [...]

Jackie Chen to give keynote address at ISC High performance conference in Germany

February 17th, 2016|Categories: CRF, News, Transportation Energy, Uncategorized|

By Michael Padilla Jackie Chen, distinguished member of technical staff at the Combustion Research Facility, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address on Tuesday, June 21, at the ISC High Performance conference in Frankfurt, Germany. The keynote session will highlight contributions from female researchers and scientists in advancing the field of computational science. Jackie will speak on advancing the science of turbulent combustion using petascale and exascale simulations. She will discuss that high-fidelity combustion simulations [...]

Sandia releases 2nd edition of the U.S. WEC test site catalogue

February 11th, 2016|Categories: News, Water Power|

Sandia has released the second edition of the Wave Energy Converter Test Site Catalogue characterizing wave energy resources to facilitate device deployments and testing. The catalogue presents metocean data at eight U.S. wave energy converter (WEC) test sites. The catalogue will enable WEC developers to compare wave resource characteristics between sites and select the best test sites for their device, testing needs, and objectives. This catalogue includes critical wave statistics for determining the magnitude and quality [...]

Experimental testing of wave energy converter (WEC) controls

February 11th, 2016|Categories: News, Water Power|

U.S. Navy's Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin (MASK) Sandia has begun experimental testing on wave energy converter (WEC) modeling and controls. The test program focuses on model validation and system identification to produce high-quality data for control design of WECs. In partnership with the Navy, Sandia is conducting the tests at the maneuvering and sea-keeping (MASK) basin at the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Carderock Division (NSWCCD) in Bethesda, MD. The WEC being tested (1/17 scale) is among the largest [...]

A new day: SWiFT reaches rotor mounting milestone

February 10th, 2016|Categories: News, SWIFT, Wind Energy|

Sandia National Laboratories has reached a major milestone by successfully re-mounting a rotor on one of its SWiFT wind turbines, a heavily modified Vestas V27, at the SWiFT facility on January 20, 2016. Wind engineers at SWiFT have been preparing for this event since 2014 when one of the turbines over sped and failed. Since that time, Sandia’s Wind Energy Technologies Department has been evaluating and improving hardware, software, safety systems, procedures, training, and security [...]

Algae Raceway to speed path to biofuels

February 9th, 2016|Categories: News, Transportation Energy|

With the aim of transforming algae into a cost-competitive biofuel, Sandia/California has opened a new facility for further research into algae production. Called the algae raceway, the facility comprises three 1,000-liter ponds outfitted with custom lighting, environmental controls, and advanced monitoring. Several efforts are slated to begin immediately: a project to identify the best performing genetically modified algae strains; a partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory funded by the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) [...]

Sandia Labs high-flux solar simulator with one-of-a-kind capability

February 8th, 2016|Categories: Concentrating Solar Power, News, Research & Capabilities, Solar|

The High-Flux Solar Simulator with automated sample handling and exposure system (ASHES) is a one-of-a-kind capability which can be used 24/7 with metal-halide lamps.  ASHES provides accelerated lifetime aging tests for materials under high-temperature/high-flux conditions.  A robotic sample-handling system can be used to move multiple coupons automatically into and out of the concentrated flux sequentially to expose the samples to predetermined temperatures, fluxes, and/or durations.  The peak irradiance is ~1.1 MW/m2  with an average irradiance of [...]

Sandia and EPRI to host PV symposium in May 2016

February 6th, 2016|Categories: Events, News, News & Events, Photovoltaic, Seminars & Conferences, Solar|

Sandia National Laboratories and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) are pleased to host the third PV Systems Symposium, May 9-12, 2016, at the Biltmore Hotel in Santa Clara, CA, on technical issues related to photovoltaic (PV) systems and technologies. Core areas of focus will include PV performance modeling, distribution hosting capacity and screening methods, component reliability, as well as data-driven strategies for performing economically efficient system upkeep. Conference website.

NREL and Sandia host PV Module Reliability Workshop, Feb. 23-25, 2016

February 6th, 2016|Categories: Events, News, News & Events, Photovoltaic, Seminars & Conferences, Solar|

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Sandia National Laboratories are jointly organizing the annual PV Module Reliability Workshop. This year’s event, to be held February 23-25, 2016, in Lakewood, CO, will bring together photovoltaics (PV) experts from  national laboratories, industry, and academia to discuss the most recent updates in photovoltaic system reliability and lifetime. Dr. Olga Lavrova will be chairing the PV systems and inverter reliability session. Advanced sign-up for the workshop is highly encouraged as we [...]

Sandia defines solar variability zones

February 6th, 2016|Categories: News, Photovoltaic, Research & Capabilities, Solar|

Sandia Labs has defined solar variability zones by modeling solar variability across the country using a combination of ground measured and satellite derived solar irradiance measurements. The zones represent the magnitude of high-frequency (sub-minute) solar variability—changes in available sunlight—at each location. Photovoltaic (PV) installations in locations with higher solar variability can, all else being equal, lead to larger voltage fluctuations on electric distribution grids than PV installations in areas of low solar variability. Thus, to [...]

Sandia Labs releases wavelet variability model (WVM)

February 6th, 2016|Categories: Modeling, News, Photovoltaic, Solar|

When a single solar photovoltaic (PV) module is in full sunlight, then is shaded by a cloud, and is back in full sunlight in a matter of seconds, a sharp dip then increase in power output will result. However, over an entire PV plant, clouds will often uncover some modules even as they cover others, resulting in only small changes in plant power output. Thus, the power output of a PV plant is smoother than [...]

Sandia Labs Releases New Version of PVLib Toolbox

February 6th, 2016|Categories: Modeling, News, Photovoltaic, Solar|

Sandia has released version 1.3 of PVLib, its widely used Matlab toolbox for modeling photovoltaic (PV) power systems.  The version 1.3 release includes the following added functions: functions to estimate parameters for popular PV module models, including PVsyst and the CEC ‘5 parameter’ model a new model of the effects of solar spectrum on PV module current code to access weather data from NOAA’s Integrated Surface Data network PVLib version 1.3 can be downloaded for [...]

Largest Reduction of Solar Energy in 24 Years Recorded at PSEL Linked to El Niño

February 6th, 2016|Categories: News, Photovoltaic Systems Evaluation Laboratory (PSEL), Solar|

Since before 1990, Sandia’s Photovoltaic (PV) System Evaluation Lab (PSEL) has been comprehensively recording solar irradiance data to accompany its outdoor PV testing. The unusual dip in 2015 solar energy at the facility prompted us to notice that other historic dips in the sun’s insolation, or the amount of sunlight shining on the earth, have coincided with the larger El Niño years. Prior to 2015-16, intense El  Niño  conditions occurred in 1991-92, 1997-98, 2004-05, 2009-10. [...]

GridPV Toolbox Version 2 Now Available

February 6th, 2016|Categories: Distribution Grid Integration, News, Photovoltaic|

The GridPV toolbox, co-developed by Georgia Institute of Technology and Sandia National Laboratories, models and simulates the integration of the distributed, or local, power generation into the electric power system. Simulations with this tool can be used to evaluate the impact of solar energy on the distribution system. GridPV Toolbox is a fully-documented set of Matlab functions that can be used to build distribution grid performance models using the open source distribution modeling tool OpenDSS. [...]